Make your walks more inspiring with a new perspective
As the lockdown months roll on have you found your usual daily walk around the block has become less than inspiring and more of a chore ? Could you do the loop with your eyes closed and describe every detail ? I have found myself listening to podcasts instead of the birds, and not noticing anything unless it's straight in front of my nose. After so long walking the same paths it's so easy to just switch off . We disconnect with what's around us and end up missing what fresh eyes might even see as magical.
I decided to try to make my daily dog walk more interesting after being inspired by Philippa Stanton's photos from her walks in the Brighton area on Instagram. Her shots feature a lot of close up detail and are often abstract. Very unlike my usual way of seeing the world. I dusted off my copy of her 2018 book 'Conscious Creativity' and started to plan. Impatient to get started I didn't read it from cover to cover, or follow the exact program, it doesn't matter though as it's the sort of book you can dip in and out of and interpret in your own way .
If you want to try for yourself I recommend going for a walk with just one theme in mind, you can decide once you start your walk what this will be.
Something simple like one colour or shape. Look for it at all levels from the ground up. Scan areas you wouldn't usually take a second glance at. Notice texture, shape, patterns, movement, etc.
The first day I did this I choose white as a theme.
I took photos with my phone camera , but you don't have to take pictures. Maybe you sketch or paint ? Record it however you choose. Or you may prefer to just enjoy observing and record in your memory.
Maybe you fancy picking up a few things along the way like pine cones , pebbles , feathers anything that catches your eye or imagination. You can then observe them further at home. I made an album of a few my pictures from my phone.
When you are ready, move on to other ideas . You could choose a different focus per day or week.
A few ideas to get you started
Colour - pick one or maybe two
Shapes - Circles, Squares, Stars , Rectangles
Text - Typo, look at sizes and shapes and unusual places where you can see words placed.
Scale - large and small how they fit into the landscape .
Shadows - how they change and where they tell a story
Old and New - styles; architecture; plants; and trees etc
Abandon and Neglected - forgotten buildings, rubbish , furniture
Texture Hunting - manmade or natural
Walk your usual walk in the opposite direction.
Start where you would usually finish.
Change the timing
Try to go out at a different time of day to your usual habitual walk. The light will be different and you will have a very different perspective.
If you always walk in the morning try an evening walk or vice versa .
Don't just look straight ahead . Be sure to look up , down and all around, lots of interesting stuff is found very low to the ground or high above.
Finding unfamiliar in familiar places.
Yes it can be a challenge, but it's not an impossible one.
Think of it as a game - a grown up version of I - Spy .
I hope that after reading this you've been inspired to look out for new things and take in a different view of your regular walk.
If you want to see more please go to https://www.instagram.com/the_lois_edit/?hl=en where I will been sharing more on my Instagram stories . I may even be writing a few more blog posts on this subject as I have been so inspired.
You can find Philippa on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/5ftinf/?hl=en
Conscious Creativity is available from Blackwells https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781782406341?gC=5a105e8b&gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxgNtHlrTg4WiVHsOnD64YPUKyGqqY9IOEcA7ei7YOixukaCvNaJLEwaAhIQEALw_wcB
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